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Re: profile attribute and conformance [was: Comparing conformance requirements against real-world docs]

From: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 17:54:10 +0300
Cc: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>
Message-Id: <E89A48C2-0773-49D2-9D2E-80B90E05DDAA@iki.fi>
To: Michael (tm) Smith <mike@w3.org>

On Sep 4, 2008, at 14:35, Michael(tm) Smith wrote:

> Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>, 2008-09-04 09:35 +0300:
>> On Aug 31, 2008, at 20:23, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>>> The profile instances are mostly due to WordPress. The scheme of  
>>> picking at
>>> most one page per *hostname* still picked a lot of  
>>> username.wordpress.com
>>> blogs. Also, there are a lot of other WP instances out there.  
>>> These could
>>> be knocked out by a single WP version update.
>> I was informed off-list that the attribute is part of the WP theme-- 
>> not WP
>> itself, and a WP engine update wouldn't change the themes.
> So, given that and the other data and viewpoints you've considered
> in regard to the profile attribute, what's your current thinking
> on it? Do you think it should be allowed or not?

My current thinking is that profile is failing, because even  
microformat test suites like http://ufxtract.com/testsuite/hcard/  
don't bother to use it and, clearly, the expectation is that a  
microformat consumer proceeds even when the profile is missing. I  
think at this point, it's not productive to try to make microformat  
producers to add a profile URIs according to http://microformats.org/wiki/profile-uris 
  if they are going to be mere talismans as far as consuming goes. I  
think the weight of profileless content out there will motivate  
microformat-to-RDF converters to start consuming profileless content  
regardless of what HTML5 says.

In general, having the URI at the top of the page source and the  
microformat later in the body goes against the view source copy and  
paste way of learning HTML and also goes against the restrictions of  
blogging systems that allow people to paste stuff somewhere in the  
body but not control the head of the page.

Since I think it's not productive to try to make microformat producers  
use profile URIs, it is tempting to use the conformance definition of  
HTML to pre-empt the permathread. On the other hand, it's not very  
productive to tell people who already have profile URIs on their page  
is to take them away. However, taking away the profile attribute is  
more similar to asking people to change their doctype than asking  
people to change all their table attributes. The table attributes are  
all over their source. The doctype and the profile attribute  occurred  
once per file and are in some cases in a template somewhere.

Considering that we currently don't have a good solution for telling  
people not to bother with taking some markup out but not to bother  
with putting it in, either, and the legacy is mainly contained to the  
templates of one product, my current thinking is letting this one fall  
on the side of not making it conforming.

Henri Sivonen
Received on Thursday, 4 September 2008 14:54:52 UTC

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